Today I'm one of the featured designers for LOAD517 - Legends of Hollywood. The prompt for today's project was based on the movie Psycho from 1960, Alfred Hitchcox.
Prompt: "Fear can be a part of our lives in many ways. Tell the story of conquering one of your fears, be it serious or silly, large or small."
So... I decided to create a page about one of my biggest fears - the scariest moment of my life - visiting the Vatican in May 2011.
Many of you who have been following me for a while know I really struggle with anxiety and a lot of fears. For awhile I've been thinking of creating a mini book about my journey of fear and anxiety and overcoming some of those things or the struggles along the way. Today's prompt felt like the perfect place to start that mini album, so I'm actually really thankful for this opportunity.
If you'd like to check out the process videos and details of the layout, you can watch that here
I want to share the story behind this layout because I think that's really important. Visiting the Vatican was one of the worst experiences of my life - it was really bad. I really struggle with a severe anxiety disorder called Agoraphobia. So, before we went to the Vatican I was concerned about how crowded it would be, so I asked a bunch of people who had already been there, what it would be like and they told me it wouldn't be that crowded. So I went... but, that was a huge understatement - it was the most crowded place I've ever been. I think the best way for me to share what happened is to share my journaling...
"I wish this was a layout about how I conquered my fears. I wish this was a layout about me being strong and powerful. But it's not. It's not a page about either of those things. This is a page about my biggest fear and the worst day of my entire life. This is a photo of the vatican...and it's not a photo I took. Why? Well because I couldn't take a photo. I was terrified, shaking, panicking and freaking out. I've never been so scared in my entire life. Everyone told me it wouldn't be that crowded but it was - it was the worst moment of my entire life. There were so many people jammed into the Vatican. Then they pushed us through this tiny little passageway into the church. There were thousands and thousands of people and I felt the panic overcome me like a wave. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't do anything but run. I wish I could say I faced my fears. I wish I could say I conquered my anxiety. But I can't because this was the worst moment of my life. But what I can say is, today is the day I realized I needed help. Today is the day I realized I should reach out, speak up and find help and support."
Maybe it's weird to share a layout about the worst moment of my life but I think this story of the Vatican is an important part of my journey with anxiety and fear. Before visiting the Vatican I did struggle with anxiety and panic attacks but it was undiagnosed and a secret I hid from almost everyone. I was struggling in silence and all alone. But going through this experience made me realize that I needed help, that I needed to speak about it. In this moment of feeling like I was going to die, I realized I didn't want to live this way for the rest of my life - I needed help. One of the best ways to get better is to acknowledge that you need help... so that's my version of conquering a fear.
Thank you so much for joining me today and for allowing me to share such a personal story. I really want to create a mini album all about my journey with anxiety/agoraphobia ... the struggles... the wins... the moments and it means a lot to me that you're here to support me through this.
If you'd like more information about LOAD517 (Layout a Day) and the Legends of Hollywood prompts, you can find that here.
I hope you have a lovely day and that I was able to inspire you to share some of the tougher stories which have brought you to where you are today and have shaped you.